Oakland Raiders: 5 Unheralded Players Making a Splash at Training Camp

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Jun 2, 2014; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Ricky Lumpkin (93) at organized team activities at the Raiders Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Ricky Lumpkin – Defensive Tackle

Reports out of training camp are that Ricky Lumpkin is taking full advantage of injuries to CJ Wilson and Stacy McGee by dominating Raider offensive linemen in drills, notably Tony Bergstrom.  Lumpkin, a third-year pro out of Kentucky, spent his rookie season mostly on the Arizona Cardinals’ IR. He joined the Raiders early in the regular season last year and has a remarkable one tackle in his two game appearances in two years.  With the addition of Antonio Smith, CJ Wilson and Torell Troup to the Raiders roster, the defensive tackle group seemed set and Lumpkin looked like the odd man out. But injuries, even in camp mean other players can force their way onto the field, and Lumpkin has done this so far.

Lumpkin, at 6’4″ and 300 pounds, is not quite as big as a traditional nose tackle but has good strength and ability to eat blocks up and free up teammates to make plays. His performance in pass-rush drills and camp scrimmages suggest he’s developed his block-shedding abilities, and if he can show these traits consistently, he has the ability to be a disruptive force on the inside. While he has some serious competition in making the roster, he’s shown early on that he definitely wants to and if he keeps throwing around offensive linemen, he just might.